1. The light. In Australia we have some super harsh light when it's all blue skies and unfortunately I don’t harness the powers that Captain Planet has to control the weather but what I do have is the power to take delicious photos in delicious light and that’s determined by what time of the day we shoot. Think of it like this, you are at the beach in the middle of the day and a random stranger walks past you and says “day for it” (In non Australian English that means it's a great day to be enjoying the outside festivities). You look up squinting and also say “day for it” but you have no idea who they were because it was so damn bright outside and their skin was so sweaty it was shining a reflection so bright it actually could have lit a piece of paper on fire like a magnifying glass. Well that my friends is not the kind of lighting you want to take your couple photographs in. You know when you go to the beach in the evening as the sun is setting and that same reflecting person from before walks past and says “this sunsets a beauty, you little ripper” (In non Australian English that means this sunset is beautiful). That is the light we love to harness - it's softer, you can open your eyes, you don’t have that harsh light from the sun right above your head leaving shadows under your eyes making you look like a racoon!
2. A moment together. It is very rare that it's just you two together on your wedding day. Everyone is stopping you, hanging weird lace things on your wrist that no one actually knows what they mean, hugging you, kissing you, taking selfies with you. During sunset we can duck out for about 15-20 mins and it's just me and you two. You get to chill out together and take it all in and I’ll just be lurking in the distance, with my cameras, whilst you two simply enjoy each others company on one of the biggest days of your life.
3. Golden hour. Weird how it's called golden hour even though it's only golden for about 15 minutes. If it's a sunny day we get 2 of these a day, sunrise and sunset. This is a beautiful time to get some delicious sun flare snaps. The sun is lower in the sky and back-lighting you two giving some separation between yourself and the background, plus you get all those delicious warm tones. In the wise words of Lizzie McGuire, this is what dreeeeeams are made of. If you are super lucky, it could be super hazy and that just looks like a whole lot of magic baby!
4. Blue hour. This, this right here is the money time baby! My favourite time to shoot - the sun has just dipped below the horizon and now I can face you two toward where the sun was and the entire sky above the sun acts like a huge soft box (if you don’t know what a soft box is it's a box of light with a diffusion layer in front of the light giving you a nice even flattering light) that illuminates you two perfectly. Blue hour really isn't always blue, it all depends on cloud coverage in the sky that the sun reflects onto. Sometimes it can be orange/yellow with more warm tones and other times in can be purpley/blue cooler tones, either way it is delicious light that everyone needs to be shot in.
5. It actually fits in the reception timeline nicely, with some planning. Photos honestly don’t take long when you know what you are doing and what you want. October-March the sun sets around 8:30pm in October and as we head towards March it slowly reaches the 7:30pm mark. Speeches usually happen around this time and with good planning you can organise speeches around the sunset. I always recommend doing speeches either just after you get introduced or after the sunset shots because if we do speeches say at 7pm, people tend to talk a lot during their speeches and we might miss the opportunity to head out as the sun is disappearing. I like to factor in 20 mins of time to take couples photos during the last bit of sunset into the timeline.
To wrap this post up like a fine burrito: I often hear couples say “oh we don’t want to leave our reception, photos take ages”, but trust me, you won’t be gone for too long and once you see your photos, you won't regret those few minutes away from the reception. You will love taking the time together and at the end of the day, after the wedding is over, you have each other, your wedding rings and your photographs…..and maybe those weird lace horseshoe things. So let’s jump out for that 20ish mins and get the most out of your photos! Yeww!!